Graduation marks end of award-winning ‘Project Booyah’ program in the ACT

Canberra PCYC was today joined by representatives from federal and local government, ACT Policing and families, to mark the final graduation of participants from ‘Project Booyah’- an Australian Government Initiative by the Canberra Police Community Youth Club, Inc. (Canberra PCYC). Seven young people from the ACT and Queanbeyan received their certificates from Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja. Senator Seselja was joined by the ACT Deputy Chief Police Officer Mark Walters, and ACT Minister for Young People Rachel Stephen-Smith, in congratulating participants on their achievements.

Twenty-weeks after commencing Project Booyah, participants reflected on their achievements of a Certificate II qualification through CIT, positive new outlook, and continuing discussions on further vocational and employment pathways. “One thing I learnt from Booyah was that if you try your best at something you’ll always finish it” said one participant. “I now enjoy getting up of a morning and coming to Booyah,” said another, “I wasn’t sure if I would have been able to keep up with the work but once you put your head down and do your work, you can achieve a lot.”

For Canberra PCYC Executive Manager Cheryl O’Donnell, today’s graduation ceremony will mark the completion of the current funding for Project Booyah in the ACT region. “We’ve seen young people turn their life around through Project Booyah,” said Ms O’Donnell “over 80% of participants haven’t had an offence against their name since completing the program. To see young people who’ve become disengaged from education return to school, or continue their studies through CIT, has shown us just how successful Project Booyah is at giving kids that second chance to succeed.”

Project Booyah was first developed by the Queensland Police Service, and in 2016 received the Gold Award at the 2016 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA). Project Booyah centres on collaborative early intervention for at-risk young people, bringing together government, community, education and police to achieve positive change.

“We know the importance of educational outcomes in improving employment options for young people” said Ms O’Donnell, “when combined with trade skills, ongoing case management, social skills training, as just some of the inclusions in Project Booyah, we can be confident that these young people have every opportunity to reach their long-term goals.”